Background: A collaborative is an effective method of implementing evidence-based practice across multiple sites through the sharing of experience and knowledge of others in a similar setting, over a short period of time. Collaborative methods were first used in the USA but have been adopted internationally.
Aim: This paper sought to document the facilitators and barriers to the implementation of the collaborative method, based on a single site’s experience of participating in a multisite, state-wide heart failure collaborative.
Method: Qualitative data was collected using three complementary methods: participant observation, reflective journalling and key informant interviews. Quantitative monitoring of team performance occurred monthly according to prespecified performance indicators.
Findings: Barriers and facilitators that were identified by this study included: organisational factors, team composition, dynamics and networking, changing doctor behaviour, clinical leadership and communication.
Conclusion: The findings from this study underscore the importance of leadership, communication and team cohesion for the successful implementation of the collaborative method at individual sites. In addition, the importance of a preparatory stage that deals with known barriers and facilitators to the collaborative method before the commencement of the official study period was highlighted. The potential for the collaborative approach to improve clinical outcomes warrants further systematic evaluation of process issues and consideration of the barriers and facilitators to implementation in various settings.
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